Wow. Simply Wow.
I started Courtney Schafer’s debut novel, The Whitefire Crossing not quite knowing what to expect.
I met Courtney at last year’s RMFW conference and learned that she wrote Epic Fantasy and was in the midst of holding her breath waiting for news that her first book deal had gone through. I gave her my card and made her promise to tell me when the book came out. We didn’t have a chance to talk much about the details, or story line, of her book because then the panel began and we were awed into silence.
A few months ago I got her e-mail, the book was available for pre-order. Whoop!
I just finished reading my newly arrived copy and have to say, I am blown away.The fact that this is Courtney’s debut novel leaves me in absolute awe – she has built a believable world, and filled it with characters that I wanted to follow and whom I grew to care deeply about; even the really evil ones – if only to hope something horrible happens to them…
The Whitefire Crossing follows Dev, a mountain guide and smuggler of magical goods, and Kiran, his latest cargo, as they cross the Whitefire mountains from the town of Ninavel where magic reigns unfettered to Alathia where magic is all but outlawed.
Dev has just been burned by his girlfriend and partner for all the money he’s got. Meanwhile a girl he promised to save is in jeopardy if he can’t buy her from her handler before she reaches puberty. In desperate need of money, and fast, he accepts a commission to transport Kiran across the mountains and smuggle him into Alathia. He knows there is something amiss, but he’s too desperate to care.
When a blood mage begins to stalk their trail, Dev realizes he’s in way over his head.
The Whitefire Crossing follows Dev and Kiran over the mountains, into Alathia, and deep into a world of power, magic, and deception. It’s a race against time, but also against their own distrust. If they cannot break down their own barriers, all of Ninavel will fall, taken out by magic fueled by their own blood.
The Whitefire Crossing is a suspenseful romp through a well-built world of intrigue and dark magic. I loved seeing how the beliefs of Dev and Kiran about the people of Alathia were turned upside down during their time in that city. And I loved the cliffhanger ending that fully wrapped up the main conflict in this first book, while leaving me gasping to know more, and itching to get my hands on book two, The Tainted City.